Since his elections, President Donald Trump has been on the papers for a lot of reasons- some good, some bad. Most recently, he has been on the front pages with news of his pardon of a hated sheriff; Joe Arpaio. This has caused quite the buzz among foreigners and human rights activists.
Sherriff Joe Arpaio served as the sheriff for Maricopa County for twenty four years. Each term, since his first election, he has been re-elected as the sheriff six times in a raw, the seventh time he lost. For a sheriff who was loved enough to be re-elected six times, many people- his opponents especially- breathed a sigh of relief. Wonder why?
Sherriff Joe declared himself a hard-liner when it came to illegal immigrations. Unfortunately, in his quest to deal with illegal immigrants, the sheriff and his team violated the human rights of those in their custody. As though that wasn’t enough, they unfairly profiled Latino and Hispanic drivers.
After several violations of the law, the court found him guilty of unfairly profiling Latinos and Hispanics. He was court ordered to stop his actions. A court order which he ignored. Soon after, there were reports of his team continuing with the offences.
Apart from this, the sheriff also targeted those who dare criticize him or his workers. To keep their deeds under wraps, the sheriff took liberty of finding out information on the editors of the local paper since they had written unflattering articles about him and his employees. Instead of cowering and hiding, the editors; Micheal Lacey and Jim Larkin published an expose on the sheriff’s illegal deeds.
This got them arrested. It was against the law, but the sheriff disregarded that. In the dead of night, he sent for them and threw them in jail.
Much to his disappointment, the expose went national and there was an outcry for the release of the journalists. After a long battle I court, the sheriff was ordered to pay them a settlement of 3.7 million dollars. Read more: Phoenix New Times | Wikipedia and Lacey and Larkin Frontera Fund
Instead of using their settlement money on material things for themselves, the duo set up a foundation that helped protects Latinos and Hispanics.
The foundation, Frontera Fund, supports non-profit groups who actively support the rights of Latinos and Hispanics. Just recently, they launched an online website called front page confidential which does the same- fight for human rights.
Upon his failed re-election as a sheriff, a judge found him guilty of contempt of court following the previous court order he violated.
As a result, he was facing some years in jail. A good number of people, however, were disappointed since they didn’t get to see him being led to jail. He was pardoned by the beloved President. Well, no one can argue with that.
Did the two journalists have anything to say about the pardon? Yes. They said they respect the sheriff for the politician he is. He laid his cards right and won himself a pardon by the president.
So now, the county terror is loose again… wonder if he’ll lay low.
Learn more about Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey: http://www.laceyandlarkinfronterafund.org/about-lacey-larkin-frontera-fund/jim-larkin/ and http://james-larkin.com/